Crafting a different TBR

If you’ve read/seen my 2015 Goals, then you’ll know I’m trying to broaden my reading habits by reading more SFF by women, authors of non-binary genders, queer authors, authors of colour, and works in translation. Unfortunately, whenever I go wandering around my local library or bookshop, or browsing ebooks, I don’t find very many of these things. Or, at least, I’m not noticing them.

And that was something I wanted to examine because that’s a problem. It’s my problem that I’m not noticing things.  So that’s what the video is about. Obviously, this being my website and all, I suggest you watch the video but you can also read the (suuuuuper) shortened version below and check out some of the authors and titles I’ve been learning about below.

So often I pick up a particular book because of some previous knowledge of it; somebody mentioned it in a booktube video, it was featured in a blog post or a tweet, it caught my eye on goodreads. That pre-exisiting knowledge is a key factor in whether I’ll buy or read something and I think it is for so many of us. Once something has wormed its way into your consciousness you’re so much more likely to notice it or think of it again because our brains love patterns. There’s even a name for when you learn/see something new and then suddenly you notice it everywhere – the Baader Meinhof phenomenon.

What I’m doing, therefore, is trying to actively look for new authors or books to read and then learning a bit about them so they really sink into my brain. I want to keep seeing these interesting names so that these are the ones that pop into my head, that keep tempting me to read them next, and so that they’re as easy for me to recall as the big name authors that I hear mentioned every day. To that end I’ve started making the list that you can see below. It’s not a complete list and it’s a not a definite TBR. I’m not aiming to read all these things by any set date, I just want to keep noticing them and then I’ll probably pick them up at some point. So goes than plan anyway. I guess we’ll see at the end of the year when I review my year in reading.

A few notes on the list:

  • Where an author is listed for one book but they have others you think are cool, please let me know because even if I already know about their others books the repetition helps my quest (and I might not know!).
  • If you have any amazing recommendations then please, please, please let me know either in blog comments, YouTube comments or on twitter.
  • The links are mostly affiliate links because I need pennies to buy tickets to SF conventions. Feel free to avoid clicking on them if you don’t like that kind of thing.

The list: 

Dawn (Lilith’s Brood – Book One) by Octavia Butler
Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
The Bees Her Heart, the Hive Her Belly by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard
The Stars Change by Mary Anne Mohanraj
The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez
Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias
Orleans by Sherri L. Smith
Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai
The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Valor’s Choice by Tanya Huff
Ammonite by Nicola Griffith
Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction (The World of Riverside) by Brit Mandelo (ed.)
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany
The Female Man by Joanna Russ
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr
Any short stories by John Chu (like this one)
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Through a Brazen Mirror by Delia Sherman
Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner
Yukikaze by Chohei Kambayashi
Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World by Haruki Murakami
The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin
Six Months, Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders
Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Time Salvager by Wesley Chu
The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord


3 thoughts on “Crafting a different TBR

  1. Spooked says:

    Very interesting list! 🙂
    If you’re interested in reading more/other Olivia Butler books, theres a group read of “Parable of the Sower” in the goodreads group 2015: The Year of Reading Women, starting in February.
    I’m looking forward to it and it’s going to be my first Butler book.

    I also have “The Female Man” by Joanna Russ on my (real life) TBR, as well as “Who Fears Death” by Nnedi Okorafor.


    • says:

      Ooooh interested in the readalong. I might join in but what I read really depends on how snowed under I get by uni work. I shall certainly be keeping an eye on the discussions so thank you for the pointer. 🙂


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